A Blog About My Journey Riding and Training Sora, My Soulmate

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Ending

It has taken me a few months to be able to post this but Sora has found a new home. I truly thought that she would be with me forever and it is so incredibly heart breaking going out to see the horses and not having her there waiting for me but even now I feel like I made the right decision.

I had given her a lot. She was rehabbed first from the abuse that she had suffered and then from the injury at the beginning of the year. She was almost completely sound and the vet felt that she was going to make a full or almost full recovery. The decision to give her back to the woman I bought her from, not the one who had abused her, was a very difficult one and it was made for several reasons.

However, with all that I gave her she gave me so much more. She taught me how to ask instead of always tell, she taught me how to handle a hot blooded horse, and how to lower my energy and really listen to those around me. I am an entirely different person than I was before I met Sora both around horses and in my day to day life and I will always remember and be incredibly thankful to her for that.

And it will always hurt.

This will be the last post in this blog. It will stay up so that I can share with others what an incredible being Sora was to work with. I am continuing on my journey with horses and after the learning detour that Sora led me on I am going back to work on achieving the goals I had set for myself when I first started riding dressage. I am making an entirely new blog separated from this one to journal my progress and I hope you all check in at some point and meet the new girls in my life :)


Thank you Sora for everything you have selflessly given to me an I am so glad you are happy in your new life.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Girls Meet

This was the second time they met through the door to Sora's stall because the first time I didn't want to be holding a camera in case something went wrong. As you can see though they are already bored with each other.

I have to admit I welled up a bit at the two of them meeting and how happy Sora seemed to get to touch another horse after a month of basically being by herself. The full story of why they are both at my roomate's stable will be posted on my other blog.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Sora was very demanding this morning when I went to feed and actually ignored her grain when I first gave it to her. With any other horse I would worry but I knew that Sora just wanted to play. In the small area of the stall I don't want to get her moving much so I decided to do more work on her feet.

They are just starting to look a bit dodgy from being in the stall and unable to move around much so I'm bringing out the apple cider vinegar :) I always smile because it makes her wrinkle her nose.

Pictures will follow :)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Stall Bound

Sora is continuing to do really well in her stall. She now has a hay net with small holes to keep her busy. She also has a salt block hanging so she has to chase it around :)

She is still positive and happy and is becoming more calm with all of the things going on in the barn.

These pictures of her hips show the current level of atrophy in the left one which is actually much better than it could be according to the vet.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

More Hope

Sora is doing really well! For anyone wondering if she is in pain she sure doesn't appear to be. I will be taking a video of her in her new stall home to show how good she looks and how happy she's been. It sure is hard to believe she has a broken bone!

I also have other good news! After looking for the past year apparently the powers that be decided now was the time because I finally found my pony!!!! You will be able to read about our adventures on my new blog War Pony


I will continue to update this blog of course and will keep it up to date with Sora's recovery.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saddness and Hope

On Wednesday we trailered Sora to the Stillwater Equine vet for x-rays. I was terrified so it was a good thing I didn't drive. Sora was excellent for the vet but nervous and once Ellie, the one who WAS driving, explained to them that she had been abused things went even better.

The news was bad, she appears to have broken a bone in her hip when she fell. There is no way to tell without bringing her to the U of M hospital and based on the quote from this vet that is something I can't afford at this point. Dr John also said that even if they did an x-ray at the UofM there's a 90% chance the treatment would be the exact same one he's giving me now. The most painful part is that he said her healthy lifespan is probably 12-15 years which only gives me 6-9 more years with my girl.

She will be on strict stall rest for the next two months with no hand walking. At the end of the two months he will reevaluate and she may be able to go out in an extremely small paddock or at least hand walked a bit.

This diagnosis hurts so much it is hard to explain. Lets just say it's a good thing I didn't go back to work after her vet appointment.

The best news out of all of this is that she will be moved to the place where I am living! Lisa has an empty stall while Ellie doesn't have more than a shelter at this point. Ellie was extremely kind and we were trying to figure out a place to keep her there but this will be easier and it will mean that I can go out at all times of the day to check on her and clean her stall. We are moving her today and I am most worried about how she will handle the stall. I'm sure she will be nervous when we first put her in but I'm sure she will adjust and figure it out.

She will be in good company too. Lisa has two other recovering Thoroughbreds in stalls both of which have been on stall rest for the past 3-5 months. Even better, one is making a full recovery when originally the vet thought that she may need to be put down.

I have always been stubborn and never more so than when I'm told something can't be done or can't be fixed. So now I'm stubbornly positive that she will recover fully. I don't need to be able to ride her I really, really just want her to live at least until her 20s sound, happy, healthy and wanting to play and I'm sure it will happen because she is my miracle girl.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bad News

The vet was out again and said it was time to bring Sora in for x-rays. I have a Wednesday appointment at the Stillwater Equine clinic. I'm quite stressed about the appointment and hope I can make it through the weekend.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Picture From Home

Riley is home with me for the weekend and is enjoying being an only dog again :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Little Update

Not too much has been happening recently. Sora is doing so much better! She is trotting really nicely and even tried some canter the other day :D Ellie, my neighbor who boards Sora just introduced another horse that she is temporarily boarding and I was quite worried about how Sora would take it especially since there is some ice still in their pen from all of the thawing and freezing. Ultimately it went really well and the horses are getting along really well.

I've been meaning to get some video of us training now that I have a video camera but every day I'm out there something different is happening such as with the new horse so it just hasn't happened.

I did have a really nice time with Sora yesterday though! She was extremely motivated so we did all kinds of things such as shoulder in, different types of yields, targeting, trot-walk transitions (which we kept to a minimum with her leg), backing and I worked a lot on her feet since she was willing to pick up her right hind leg for the first time since she was injured.

Now, unfortunately, we had a huge drop in temperature which makes working with the horses extremely difficult so I drove to my parents house for the weekend for a short break. The weather is supposedly going to be better later this week already so hopefully we'll be able to continue soon!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Slight Break

I had all kinds of fun things to post today, that was until my silly, bratty dog decided to run away for over 6 hours today.

Because of that my time this morning was spent looking for her and stressing. Luckily Lisa just called me to let me know that she is at home so tomorrow we can continue with our regularly scheduled program :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

And Again

This will be a fairly short post because I don't have too much to update but I did really want to post this picture of Sora since I think it's been a year or more since I shared one.

It's not a great picture, :/, but what can I say. She was hungry and it was getting dark out.

This was after we had another really nice walk. We are still working on her comfort while walking away from her friend and hopefully tomorrow when it is awesomely warm out we can go a bit further. I just really don't want to push it and make her use her leg in a way that makes her uncomfy.

I was very happy to see that she actually seemed less sore today which is making me think that the walking and stretching it out is helping :D

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Amazing Day

Amazing first because this is my second post in two days :P

But also because I got to play with my girl. I just can't even explain how full my heart is right now.

It started with me going out to take care of chores this morning because Ellie got back from a week long cruise at 1:00am and I didn't want her to have to wake up and do chores. I'm sad to admit that this last week while I've been taking care of chores is the first time in too long that I've actually seen Sora every day. Mainly it's because it's been winter and it gets dark too quickly but it's still been hard on me. At any rate, I finished up chores and went home but returned later once it had warmed up.

During the week I've been taking Sora on nice long walks where she basically gets to decide where we go. She has been choosing to walk out along the road but I've normally cut it fairly short so we don't get too far from her friend. Today though I let her go further and she was just so calm and happy it was hard to believe this is the same horse I started with. It was one of those moments in time that you find yourself looking back to the beginning and wondering how you were lucky enough to end up here.

I did finally decide it was time to turn around and head back but when we got back to the tack shed Sora was NOT interested in being done. I would have loved to do more with her but my legs were so tired from tramping through snow at horse speed that I threw precaution in the air and climbed up onto a nearby "mounting block" just to see what would happen. Only partially to my surprise Sora marched up to it and parked herself like she was wondering why I hadn't thought of it sooner :>)

I climbed on ready to jump off at the first sign of discomfort but she just turned and walked us back towards the road. I sort of drew the line at riding a horse with just a leadrope, not even fastened at both ends, bareback and without a helmet (yes I'm sorry) along even a quiet road so I draped the leadrope back around her neck like a cordeo and using my seat, legs and cordeo cues asked her for a nice turn and she gave it. The best part though was that while she would stop for treats when she had done something nice, she also had forward movement the entire time. We never got stuck and even when I decided I should climb off she didn't want me to and tried to keep going. It's awesome when your horse has connected standing perfectly still to mounting and dismounting so strongly that they think you won't be able to figure out how to dismount if they just keep walking lol!

I was just so happy to get to spend the wonderful, warm, sunny day with my horse in such complete harmony. I just don't know what I would be found if I hadn't found AND and so completely changed my riding and training style.

I should mention, so that no one thinks I'm an abusive horse owner, that much of Sora's discomfort seems to stiffness and that after our trail walk, for example, she was walking like normal even when bending or backing. It was because of this and the fact that at even a hint of a limp I would have been off that I risked our short 10 minute ride. So no worries, Sora and her health mean WAY more to me than one short, wonderful ride :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Double Move

So much has changed since my last post that it is hard to know where to begin!

First, I ended up moving Sora and I think it was one of the best things I ever did. My friend who owns a single mare named Sky had offered a few months ago to let me keep Sora there for free, or almost free, but I turned her down because at the time I was really content at RnR and felt that I couldn't deal without the arenas, plus since my rent was tied to my board I didn't want to upset anything and end up without a place to live. However, after I returned from seminars I found out that I was going to have to be out of the place I was renting by March.

I was both happy and sad because it freed me up to move Sora but it also meant that I would probably end up paying about twice what I had been paying for rent which would have dramatically strained my already tight budget.

To make a long story short I moved Sora and while borrowing the trailer from a neighbor woman named Lisa I found out that she was looking for a roommate! The rent would be cheaper, Riley would have other dogs to play with and I would be 2 minutes from Sora instead of 15. I moved on January 1st and I am really liking it there. There has been some adjustment to living with someone else again but mainly it has been good and between paying less for board and paying less for rent I have a little extra which is, of course :), getting spent on Sora and it means I can save up for my saddle faster!

That's the good news, the bad news is that Sora hurt herself.

I got the call from Ellie, the woman I'm boarding Sora with, that Sora had fallen and wasn't happy about walking. Ellie is fairly green with horses so I was picturing a small limp but when I showed up after work, at 10:00pm, she was standing in the shed without ANY weight on her leg. Ellie was panicking but I've dealt with so many injuries in the past that I just checked Sora all over and with the absence of any swelling or sensitive spots I opted to give her a small amount of bute, put hay within easy reach and see what she was like in the morning.

Luckily in the morning she was walking on it and after calling a friend and knowing where to poke and prod we discovered that she probably tore a ligament in her stifle. Luckily as well it is probably the best, bad injury she could have and she is now walking almost completely normally on a straight line but gimping fairly badly on curves or when backing. Stifle recoveries can take as long as 6 months so we have a long road ahead of us.

The thing that has amazed me the most in all of this is how utterly miserable I was at RnR without even knowing it! The people there were nice but in a, rude behind your back because you obviously have NO idea what you are doing, sort of way :-/ They would tell me Sora was nice, or that I should come riding with them but try to give me advice about how I should have started riding her at two and since I hadn't I had ruined her and should try to sell her.

I should have seen how miserable Sora was as well but it was truly brought home when she basically pulled me into the trailer, and this is only the second time I've ever trailered her, even with the scary tractor cleaning out the pen next to us.

The scary tractor by the way waited until I decided to load her to move to the pen that was right next to us.